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Canelo Alvarez and Ryota Murata in “SERIOUS talks” for fight in Japan in spring


By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez and WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Ryota Murata are in “SERIOUS TALKS” for a fight in Japan in the spring, according to @SIChrisMannix.

Murata viewed as weakest link among 160-lb champions

The 34-year-old Murata is viewed by a lot of fans as the weakest link among the middleweight champions. If Canelo picks him as his next opponent, it would be the third time since 2018 that he’s fought the weakest of the champions.

These are the recent division champions Canelo has beaten:

  • Sergey Kovalev – WBO 175
  • Rocky Fielding – WBA 168

It’s not a sure thing that Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) will be fighting the 34-year-old Murata (14-2, 12 KOs) next, as there are 3 candidates that are being considered for his next fight.

Mannix doesn’t say who the other 3 candidates that are under consideration for the 29-year-old Canelo’s next fight. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya revealed this week that Billy Joe Saunders, the fighter that was thought to be the next opponent for Canelo, isn’t the frontrunner.

Boxing fans greeted that news from Oscar with great happiness, as they didn’t want to see Canelo chase a boring Saunders around the ring for 12 rounds. Saunders is a crafty fighter, who makes it ugly in using trickery to win fights.

For Canelo to choose Saunders, he would have to be desperate to win titles for the sake of it. With Canelo, it’s hard to guess who he and his promoters at Golden Boy have with the other candidates.

Ryota Murata = another easy fight for Canelo?

It’s unclear what DAZN will have to say about Canelo fighting Murata. Unless they’re going to open Japan for DAZN, it might be a waste of a fight for Canelo. He’s already had 2 easy fights against Rocky Fielding and Sergey Kovalev since signing a huge $365 million contract with DAZN. This is perhaps not what DAZN had hoped for when they signed Canelo to a big 11-fight contract.

One BIG problem with Canelo fighting Murata is the fact that the Japanese fighter is with Top Rank Boxing, and fights on ESPN. So if the audience is split for the Canelo-Murata fight between 2 different network platforms, that’s not a good deal for DAZN, is it?

Murata would be along the same lines as Fielding in terms of being competitive with Canelo, if not worse.

Murata would be a non-risky fight for Canelo

Canelo fighting Murata would be a good move to create fans for himself in Japan, as well as to have an easy win to keep his reign going for a little longer. The Mexican star Canelo is calculated with the risks that he takes with his career at this point.

Fans want Canelo to fight Charlo, GGG, Callum and Andrade

So instead of Canelo fighting guys like Jermall Charlo, Gennadiy Golovkin, Callum Smith or Demetrius Andrade, he faces Sergey Kovalev and potentially Murata.

Murata is a big star in Japan, but an unknown in the U.S. He’s with Top Rank Boxing, but he’s not attracted a great deal of interest from American fans when he fights. In the past, Gennadiy Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has spoken of wanting to have GGG fight Murata in Japan.

The two fighters likely would have already fought if not for Murata and Golovkin both losing in 2018. Murata was beaten by Rob Brant, whereas GGG lost to Canelo.

Canelo fighting Murata on Cinco de Mayo in Japan?

If Canelo fights Murata in Japan on Cinco de Mayo, he would be leaving behind a lot of his loyal boxing fans. They might not be willing to pay the big money to travel all the way to Japan to see Canelo fight. While a lot of Canelo’s fans would be willing to go through the hassle and expense making the long trip to Japan on Cinco de Mayo, many wouldn’t.

Fighting the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata would be an extreme move on Canelo’s part, as it’s fight that wouldn’t attract subscribers to DAZN. There would be no interest from American fans in watching Canelo beat up another lesser fighter.

Besides the slow-handed Murata not being well known, he’s already been beaten TWICE in the past by Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam. Although Murata avenged both losses, the fact that he was beaten by both fighters in the first place looked bad. Brant beat Murata like a drum in their fight in October 2018 in throwing over 1,000 punches.

“Murata is one of three candidates being discussed for Canelo’s next fight. But Murata is enormously popular in Japan—a Canelo fight could draw a crowd of 50,000-plus in a Tokyo Dome-like venue,” said Chris Mannix.

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